Stress can cause a variety of behavioral issues in your cat and may compromise her health in some cases. After having a vet rule out an illness as the cause of your kitty's anxious or otherwise stressed-out behavior, help to keep her calm with some vet-approved natural solutions. Herbs and regular exercise may calm your kitty, reducing her stress without the need for prescription medications.
Flower essences are liquid tinctures made from various flowers with calming properties. Unlike most tinctures, those made specifically for pets such as Bach Rescue Remedy are made with food-grade vegetable glycerin instead of alcohol, making them safe for use in our feline friends. You can add a few drops of these remedies to your kitty's water bowl, place a few right on her tongue or rub some of these drops on her fur so that she licks them off. Before using these types of homeopathic medications, consult with your vet.
Catnip, an herb in the mint family, contains volatile oils, which mimic pheromones in most kitties. When your cat sniffs the herb, she may become hyper for a few minutes or roll around in ecstasy before calming down. Ingesting the herb has a mildly sedative effect in kitties. You can sprinkle it over her food to encourage her to eat it. This herb is safe for cats and not addictive, according to the Scientific American website. Giving your feline friend some catnip-stuffed toys or sprinkling it around the areas she likes to hang out may help to de-stress your cat, recommends the Humane Society of the United States. You also can grow it indoors for your kitty to munch on.
Several types of herbs that are safe for kitties have calming properties, including lavender, hops and chamomile. Make a tea with these herbs to mix into your kitty's food. Stuff the dried leaves and flowers into refillable cat toys or your kitty's bedding. You can put a few drops of essential oils made from these herbs in a vaporizer to provide some calming aromatherapy for Fluffy. Other calming herbs such as ginseng, kava kava, valerian, St. John's wort and skullcap also may reduce your cat's anxiety. These herbs usually are available as supplements you can give your cat orally. You'll need to consult with your vet or a holistic vet who can recommend the proper dosage of these herbs for your feline friend and whether they are appropriate for her.
Help reduce stress for your feline friend by providing her with some exercise each day in the form of interactive play with you. Provide her with some toys to play with while you're away. Place a comfy cat bed and a climbing tree in a quiet corner of your home so that she has plenty of spots where she can relax and feel safe. Play soft classical music for Fluffy, recommends Dilara Parry of the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, according to CatChannel.com. If you have more than one cat, provide each cat with at least one litter box; provide an additional litter box for all of your cats as well. Spray a synthetic feline pheromone around your home to give your kitty a sense of well-being.
- The Humane Society of the United States: Crazy for Catnip
- CatChannel.com: Classical Music Calms Shelter Cats
- PetMD: 5 Herbs to Reduce Stress in Your Cat
- Amazing Wellness: Calming Pet Anxiety
- petMD: Extreme Fear and Anxiety in Cats
- The Last Chance Sanctuary: Anxiety and Stress in Cats
- Bach Flower Remedies for Cats; Martin J. Scott and Gael Mariani
- Cat Care Clinic: Herbal Medicine
- Scientific American: How Does Catnip Work its Magic on Cats?
- VCA Animal Hospitals: Ginseng